Just a few thoughts


#1

I know it’s the duty of the parents to educate their kids on sexuality. I believe kids should hear it from home first, not the kids in school. I understand people have concern about the Church implementing courses on sexuality for children (Talking about touching, etc.) for that reason.

BUT…

Here are a few questions I have:
A) What if children don’t come from a home where it is talked about (and are more vulnerable because of their naiveté)?
B) What if kids are being abused by their parents and don’t know how to speak up because it’s not talked about?
C) As Christians, shouldn’t we be trying to protect all children, not just our own, knowing that sometimes the best protection is knowledge?
D) What about parents who wait till the kid is older, not knowing that they’re keeping them way too vulnerable for the kid’s own good?

Here’s a bit of my background: In the last year, I’ve had to go through all kinds of training :VIRTUS through my parish once I turned 18, I did rape crisis work for awhile, had to learn how to prevent kidnappings at a place I work at (I work for a store that has kids running through it constantly), and I’ve had a few close shaves in the past myself (the only reason I was able to get out of it was due to my parents making me aware and what I learned in school fortifying it, even though that same school failed me when I had to report an incident, which is why I didn’t confess another, bigger one until a few months ago when it happened two years ago).

Also, I understand that it’s not just about priests doing this to teen boys. Child abuse is a sad, sad epidemic in society and can happen anywhere. It’s even worse when a kid feels alone and abandoned because they don’t know or no one wants to believe it or talk about it. I just kind of wonder, if we are the Christians we say we are, shouldn’t we do everything to protect our littlest brothers and sisters in Christ? Even as we fight evils like abortion, shouldn’t we also be fighting this evil too?

I used to not understand why St. Paul said that sexual sins were the greatest sins, even greater than murder. Then I realized that sexual sins included sexual CRIMES.


#2

You are on the right track…
I believe talking is the way forward and the Church is much too silent.
I grew up in a home where sexuality was never talked about… it was sorta expected we would find out wrong and right and everything on our own.
Thats a huge mistake… left us learning from our peers and TV and vulgar books about what is “normal”… :frowning:

You cant say too much. Married sexual life is not dirty… and children have to know not just what they should not do but first and foremost WHY they shouldn’t.

The Church needs to speak and not be afraid to preach the truth in this area… from the pulpit, in the class rooms and in the homes… no exception.


#3

The problem is you cannot violate a child to protect them.

The latency period for each child is different. Their innocence and readiness for these topics vary.

The only proper educator of children on this topic is the parent.

Abuse is a terrible sin, and doubly so when committed by those who should be protecting the child. But, violating their innocence is not protection. And, the failure on the part of the parent cannot be a reason to usurp the parental role.

School-based programs are a one-size fits all approach that do just exactly that.


#4

I agree with you, sanctamaria. :thumbsup:

My parents let me down big time in regards to sex education. :mad: Let’s put it this way–I was 19, 2 years into college, and had been dating for over a year before my mom felt like giving me the little mother’s helper book which basically says A fits into B. That little book was written in the 1940’s and was meant to be covered by the time a girl was 16-18. I was a) in college b) in a much less innocent world than the 1940’s, and c) dating someone before my mom decided to throw the book at me…and she just tossed it to me…there was no mother/daugther discussion. Why? Because (almost verbatim) “I don’t want you to look at your father and me in a different way. It would just be weird.” :eek:

Now I do agree that you should try to preserve your children’s innocence to a certain degree but when you do that at the cost of your child’s safety and proper education then you are harming your children. Sex isn’t dirty. It should be discussed properly with your children at the approriate time. And while there is some leeway in age appropriate knowledge, let me assure you that your child should have a good understanding of sex and the beauty surrounding it before they are out of highschool.

DH and I have discussed this and we strongly feel that our children should be raised understanding the beauty of God’s gift of sexuality. We intend to teach them the appropriate names for body parts. We intend to sit down with our children throughout their childhood and give them an understanding of what is and is not appropriate. We intend to teach them about sex before they start highschool, because quite frankly their peers are going to know about quite a lot and I want my children to have the Catholic understanding of it all. :thumbsup:


#5

Oh my goodness, Kevin’s Girl. :eek:

I’m older than you…I’m actually still waiting for my talk from my mom. :smiley:

To discuss puberty, she had me watch an after-school special. Since then, I don’t think anything else.

When I was married…I sort of thought maybe she would say something…but nope.

I was having bad periods when I was in my late teens, I wanted to see an ob/gyn…and I was told that I couldn’t go because I wasn’t married. Okaaaaaay…

But my mother is from a generation where you didn’t talk about these things.

My talk came in 6th grade, from a classmate…and I was mortified, “It can’t be, my parents couldn’t have possibly ever done that!”


#6

Thanks for the responses:)

1ke, I have a question for you. Maybe we don’t have classes where kids learn the mechanics of sex or w/e. but how is it violating a child to tell them that they shouldn’t let anyone touch their private parts (not using names or specific actions) and if someone does or asks to, they should tell Mommy, Daddy, a teacher, Father, or someone they trust? If we tell kids in school that they should call 911, stop-drop-roll, what to do if they’re lost, and what things are poison or etc, why can’t we tell them this? Especially because it can be perpetrated by the victim’s own family.

And when they’re older, why can’t we talk about it in health class or biology? It is a biological drive and shouldn’t kids learn everything about how their bodies work (assuming they’re past puberty at this point)?

And I’ve heard it said that CCD should not be a forum for discussing sexuality. No, that’s not it’s purpose, but why shouldn’t it be discussed in teen groups (or at least have a TOB for teens class)? That way kids can have a better understanding about why the church teaches what it does on sexuality and not only that, but know that they’re not alone. Not that it should take away from what the parents should be doing, but emphasize what they’re learning at home. And if they’re not only hearing it out of their parents’ mouths, but those of other adults they trust and their peers, it might have a greater impact.

No, kids should not be learning everything about marital sexuality from the age of five. But they should be learning that it’s not OK for someone to touch them in a sexual manner and that they should be able to tell someone. And when they’re older, yes, the parents should be providing the talks about sexuality, but they should also be able to learn the basic mechanics for sex/pregnancy in their HS bio classes (just like they’d learn about digestion) and teachings should be emphasized in religion classes. Why is sexuality a huge thing for teens? Because they’re starting to have those feelings and starting to date and be exposed to sexual things (and our media isn’t helping). Now you’ve got some very confused kids. And even more dangerously, kids who are susceptible to people who want to take advantage of them.


#7

Or you get this–from teens who know the mechanics of sex, but no morality :eek: :
foxnews.com/story/0,2933,369103,00.html
<<Massachusetts High School Faces Pregnancy Boom
A Massachusetts high school is facing a pregnancy boom with 17 girls entering summer vacation expecting babies in what some have called a pregnancy pact…>


#8

I saw that article this morning. :frowning:

It’s sad, really. Babies are huge blessings and the girls wanting to be moms isn’t a bad thing–they just don’t seem to understand the seriousness of motherhood. And then it gets even worse when the school starts getting asked why they don’t provide contraceptives…and I am sure these girls will receive a lot of pressure to abort. :frowning:

It’s just so wrong…:frowning:


#9

Sanctamaria17,

You raise legitimate concerns.

One proposal I have is this: since most people who are baptized as infants end up being confirmed when they are near puberty (6th to 9th grade), perhaps that would be a good opportunity for the priest to sit down one-on-one with the parents/guardians to see if they have discussed this issue with the confirmand. This can also be an opportunity to reinforce Catholic teaching on sexual morality as well as get a handle of how the Catholic faith life is at home.

One question I do have is this, though. In your post, you referred to having to go through VIRTUS training when you turned 18. I thought that VIRTUS training was for people who worked in programs with people under 18. Is that a general requirement where you are at that all who turn 18 have this training, or just those who also happen to be working in such programs?


#10

I agree with talking to the priest. At my parish, priests emphasize that kids should be learning stuff at home, that CCD should just be a reinforcement. Sadly enough, parents have no idea what the kid is supposed to know or even what the Church teaches about everything.

I went through VIRTUS because every year in HS, I went on a mission trip my parish does every year for teens/young adults. A lot of times, you come in contact with kids. If they have someone over 18 doing ANY sort of volunteer work in the parish, they MUST go through VIRTUS. That’s why I was required to do it.


#11

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